Here's a quick story, but a strong one from my friend Jeremy. You may remember him from a blog post a couple years back when he ran the 2014 NYC Marathon and did a guest race report. Here he is again, sharing an interesting take on nutrition and his own attempts to be comfortable with his weight. Enjoy!
My Journey To Find My True Self:
My journey to find my true self has been a long and bumpy one. Like many people who struggle with weight fluctuations I never had any problems losing weight. The tough part for me was always keeping it off. I have gone through multiple body transformations in the past 20 years but this one feels different. I was always an athlete as a kid and into my adult years but it becomes harder to keep up when you're carrying extra weight. Another damper on my adult athletics was that I was diagnosed with gout about 6 years ago. Those that have gout will tell you that most days you feel fine and don't even know it's there, but when you're in an attack it's a nightmare.
In April 2012, I got married and during my engagement, I had set out once again to lose weight and look my best for the wedding. That was when I found running races and extreme races like mud runs. I was hooked right away. I loved the rush of running and completing them and you had to train hard to even compete them so it forced me to train. I signed up for one every month. I enjoyed it so much that I continued them even after the wedding. I was at a decent weight at that time but when I would get on a scale I would still be puzzled that it didn't seem like the work that I was putting in was equating to losing pounds on the scale.
A bunch of friends and I went out to Vegas in spring of 2014 to run a Tough Mudder and the unthinkable happened. I got a gout attack the day before the race and I had to sit it out. I was devastated. Someone who is an athlete and trains for events but also has gout never knows if the gout will flare up at the time of the event and anybody with gout knows that there is no toughing it out through an attack. You can barely walk. When I got back to LA I went to the doctor and he prescribed me a daily pill to help keep my uric acid levels down and I started taking that every day. For the next 2 plus years I didn't have one bad day with gout. Over that time my wife and I had a baby boy in December of 2015. Those with kids will tell you that it's pretty easy to let yourself go when you have a newborn. I did.
Skip to the beginning of summer 2016 and I went in to the doctor for a routine checkup. He asked how the gout was doing and I was happy to report that since I got on the daily pill after the Vegas debacle I had no issues. He did mention that I could stand to lose a few pounds which is something I already knew. Two days after I had that appointment I had a gout attack. It was at this point that I told myself that I needed to take hold of my situation and find my true self.
I started doing some reading online to see if there was something I could do differently and I came across an article that talked about gout patients and how they should stay away from wheat because it's better to deal with gout when you aren't carrying extra weight. After some more reading, I came across a book called, "Wheat Belly," by William Davis. I rushed to Barnes and Noble and picked it up. It struck a chord with me because in the beginning of the book the author talks about how his wife is into extreme races just like I was and when he goes to support her he noticed that a large number of the people competing are overweight. Here are people training and burning tons of calories and they are overweight. The reason that he derived is that these people are all eating wheat to carb load and eating tons of it because they feel they are doing so much training. This was what I did during my training as well. I always felt that I should be able to eat what I want because I was working out like a madman.
I read the book at the end of June and decided to eliminate wheat starting the beginning of July. 5 months later I dropped 30 pounds and feel great! I am under 200 lbs. for the first time since college. I don't think I could've done this without the book because it framed it in a way that made sense to me. It illustrated what kind of poison today's wheat is and why we shouldn't be eating it. That was enough to get me through the really difficult first few weeks of not eating something that has been such a prominent part of my diet for my entire life. I highly recommend giving this book a read. Especially if you're someone who just cannot seem to lose weight or keep weight off. It'll change your life and lead you to your true self!!